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Being Present and Intentional

I am compelled to share a bit of my journey since leaving 28+ years of secure employment. An anxious time just prior to leaving and following the decision. I will share however that I was surprised at how quickly things started to feel right. Here are some of the things that helped me get to a good place.

I read the book Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Harari goes through a brief history of mankind. This really provided me some perspective on what had to happen to get us (mankind) into our current situation. And it is very debatable as to whether or not some of the really big events added to our existence or took us away from a perhaps better place. He ponders about things like the first agricultural revolution  (between 10,000 BC and 2,000 BC) and whether or not we would be better off today had we remained hunters and gatherers. Certainly something I have never contemplated before reading the book.

This led to me to start really applying perspective to my decision. In the grand scheme of things leaving a job and trying something new should not be that big of a deal. The security that came with a lengthy term of employment had set me up to build something new and leverage some sound investment decisions. Over the course of a career taking a few months to put foundational pieces into place and build something is just a brief moment in time.

Also in the book was a concept that many of the major impacts on human existence had little to do with outside influences like nature but were decisions made by mankind. One of the biggest decisions made was to organize to achieve things bigger than one individual. Harari argues that one of the most effective ways that sapiens used to organize was to introduce story telling to our species. This story telling was used to explain some of the things in the lives of sapiens like the skies, the sun, animals and eventually the existence of other "tribes". Once these stories began to resonate with larger groups, communities started forming and Harari shares his thought that this is where his idea of religion commenced. He argues that any organized thought or concept that leads to a following of any significance can be called religion. For example, he calls capitalism a form of religion.

Long story short, he spends a good portion of the book talking about the instances of religious activities throughout our existence as a species. And, lo and behold, one of those examples of organized thought had a particularly strong resonance with me - Buddhism. Do not get me wrong, I am not now a practicing Buddhist. This would take some discipline that I may wish to have someday but, in general, the idea that focusing on the here and now has become something I have been very intentional about. 

Taking time to understand the causes of emotions, focusing on why certain things may happen, finding ways to personally allow for more positive emotions to drive your life and again be intentional about these choices has become part of my daily routine. I take time in the day to stop, to meditate, to unwind and focus on recognizing when things have a chance to go in a direction we might not want them to. The goal being to be present in the now and not let either the past or what might happen in the future negatively impact your now.

I will say that this has definitely helped what could have been a more stressful time for me and my family. The last few months with those closest to me has been one of the best times we have had together. I am more attentive when we are having conversations. I am way better at focusing on what is right in front of me. 

Have a read. I am certain you will get something out of it as well. Likely some perspective.

Namaste friends.

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